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Young Money


Every rapper worth his salt has a crew to back him up. Since the collapse of his late, lamented Hot Boyz team, Lil Wayne's support system has been Young Money Entertainment. With full backing from his Cash Money label and "Daddy" Birdman, the New Orleans scion formed the clique and production company in 2005. He shuffled prospects through the system for years; only fellow N'awlins rapper Mack Maine, who achieved modest success on the mixtape circuit, stuck around for the long haul. By 2009, and in the wake of his multi-platinum Tha Carter III, Wayne finally settled on a winning team. The roster is currently headed by Mack Maine, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jae Millz and Tyga. Lesser-known members include Gudda Gudda, Lil Chuckee, Lil Twist, Shanell, Short Dawg and T-Streets. The crew's debut, 2010's We Are Young Money, relied heavily on Wayne for hits such as "EveryGirl in the World," "BedRock," "Steady Mobbin" and "Roger That." However, Young Money has begun to yield breakout stars. Drake's Thank Me Later was one of the biggest rap albums of 2010. Nicki Minaj, a rapper from Queens, NY, has drawn attention for her quirky visual style and inventive rhymes.
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